Most Expensive Wines in the U.S.

8 California cult wines

 


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Harlan

Est. 1984

You know Bill Harlan must have been out to do something special when you consider that he only released his first commercial vintage of wine, the 1990, some 10 years after founding Harlan Estate. Simply put, the goal was, and has always been, to produce the finest wine possible in California.

In fact, the goal probably has been to produce the finest wine period. The virtually universal admiration for Harlan Estate seems to indicate that this is exactly what Bill has achieved and, in the meantime, he further cemented the identity of California cult wines. This is a classic example of one: sky-high scores, low production, though with about 1,800 cases a year certainly not the lowest around, and a mailing list distribution.

Current release prices include:

2008 Harlan Estate, $800

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Comments

  • Snooth User: cv4wine
    252543 50

    After reading articles like this, I grin remembering the famous Getty tasting where in most of these labels were blind tasted along with Ernest and Julio's Estate Bottled Sonoma Cab which outscored most of them. You're very correct when you hint that ratings are in the palate of the individual taster.

    Dec 06, 2010 at 6:07 PM


  • Snooth User: lisamattsonwine
    Hand of Snooth Voice of Snooth
    372258 384

    The subject line of the email said "California Classics" and I bit. Are cult wines classics by default? If Aubert wines have only been around for a decade, can they already be classics?

    Just curious of your take on what makes a wine a classic.

    Cheers,
    Lisa
    http://blog.jordanwinery.com/

    Dec 07, 2010 at 3:59 PM


  • A similar situation to the Gallo incident occurred in Australia a few years ago when a group of consumers was asked to do a blind tasting on 5 wines.

    They knew one of them was Penfolds Grange but had no idea which one. They were then asked which one they thought was Grange, which one was the most drinkeable, and which one they liked the least.

    A twenty dollar shiraz actually was rated the highest as to drinkability and to its likelihood of being Grange. Whilst the grange was considered least preferable to most of the group.

    It was rather amusing, as at the time I worked for the distributor of the $20 wine and Grange was retailing at that point for around $350.
    Let your own palate and preferences guide you - not what someone else believes. Your taste is your own. After all I prefer Monet to DaVinci, and Gaugin to Picasso regardless of what a critic may say. But no matter what always be adventurous and seek out new brands, regions, and wine styles.

    Dec 07, 2010 at 6:12 PM


  • Snooth User: Gregory Dal Piaz
    Hand of Snooth Voice of Snooth
    89065 211,110

    Lisa - Copy editors makes these wines classic!

    Of the group I would certainly consider the Inglenook to be classic California Cabernet, and maybe the Grace Family, but no, in my mind these are not the real classics, which would fall more to the Monte Bello, Montelena, Mayacamas end of the spectrum for me. Not to go all M on you.

    Nebu135 - well said!

    Dec 14, 2010 at 10:06 AM


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